The heart issue that surfaced for Montez Sweat at the Combine did not impede the Mississippi State product from participating in drills in Indianapolis. Nor did it keep him off the field during his time with the Bulldogs, with the defensive end playing in 26 games the past two seasons.
But it may have major ramifications on his draft stock. Some teams have taken Sweat off their draft boards, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports (video link).
Sweat has an enlarged heart, Pelissero reports, adding some teams’ doctors have told their scouts no example of a player dealing with this issue exists in the current NFL. However, athletes in other sports have been able to participate despite this condition.
A sense exists that more progressive teams are willing to take the risk of adding the dynamic pass rusher. Some have spoken to cardiologists who have indicated Sweat would be able to have an NFL career, per Pelissero. Other teams, however, are not comfortable taking him and have taken him off their boards.
The 22-year-old prospect registered 22.5 sacks the past two seasons. He blazed to a 4.41-second 40-yard dash time. His known visits were with the Texans, Bengals, 49ers, Bills, Raiders, Packers and Buccaneers.
Were his heart not a concern, it would appear Sweat would be a lock to go early in the first round. He still may. But it should be noted Maurice Hurst, viewed by some as a first-round prospect last year, fell to the fifth round last year because of a different heart condition. It would not be surprising to see Sweat drop next week as a result of his enlarged heart diagnosis.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.